2017 Accessible Learning Conference

YouTube, Accessibility,
and DIY Captioning

We encourage you to explore and share this site.

Who: Dr. Julia VanderMolen, CHES, Google Educator I and II
Assistant Professor-Public Health, Grand Valley State University
When: December 2017
Where: East Lansing, MI.

Poster Presentation: YouTube, Accessibility, and DIY Captioning (Adobe pdf)


Captioning is the big elephant in the room. It takes a great deal of time (and funding) to make it happen. Captioning is necessary for people who are unable to hear the audio in a video. Additionally, it is helpful for people with cognitive impairments, as well as for developing literacy, both in children and adults. Captions include speech and sound effects. There are two types of captioning: open captioning and closed captioning. Open captions provide words that appear automatically on your video when you hit play; you cannot turn them off whereas closed captions provide words do not appear unless you turn them on. You can also turn them off. Furthermore, captions are different from subtitles. Captions are usually in the same language as the spoken, while subtitles usually translate text into another language, and are common in films. For example, with a bilingual English/Spanish website, we would have clearly labeled captions (for English text) and subtitles (for Spanish text).

Session Objectives

  • Participants will learn about the importance of providing captions for audio and video.
  • Participants will learn about the various tools to to assist in providing captions for audio and video.
  • Participants will demonstrate tools in YouTube to upload, edit, and transcribe videos to improve access for all students.

Session Handouts:

Tip Sheet Handout

ipad image of website

Top Three Web 2.0 Tools of the Week

Why do we like Web 2.0 tools for teaching. Online tools and resources have made it easier for teachers to instruct students, and for students to collaborate with teachers and with other their peers